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Statistics on the harvesting and primary processing of timber grown in the UK, and on production and trade of wood products. Statistics are published annually: provisional data in May and final figures in September (in Forestry Statistics and Forestry Facts & Figures).

Publications

Forestry Facts and Figures
Department: Forestry Commission
Summary statistics on woodland area, planting, timber, trade, environment, recreation, employment and finance for the UK.
Forestry Statistics
Department: Forestry Commission
Detailed statistics on woodland area, planting, timber, trade, environment, recreation, employment, finance and prices for the UK.
Joint Forest Sector Questionnaire: Final
Department: Forestry Commission
Final UK data on wood production and trade for international organisations (Eurostat, UNECE and FAO)
Joint Forest Sector Questionnaire: Provisional
Department: Forestry Commission
Provisional UK data on wood production and trade for international organisations (Eurostat, UNECE and FAO)
Joint Wood Energy Enquiry
Department: Forestry Commission
UK statistics on wood energy for international reporting.
Scottish Forestry Strategy Indicators
Department: Forestry Commission
Annual indicators for the Scottish Forestry Strategy
Timber Price Indices
Department: Forestry Commission
Coniferous standing sales price index and sawlog price index for Great Britain.
UNECE Timber Committee Questionnaire
Department: Forestry Commission
UK data on wood production and trade for United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
Wood Production and Trade
Department: Forestry Commission
Provisional UK statistics on timber removals, deliveries, production of primary wood products and trade in wood and wood products.
Woodlands for Wales Indicators
Department: Forestry Commission
Progress indicators for Woodlands for Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government's strategy for woodlands and trees

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Overview

Timber harvesting:

  • wood production

  • softwood removals survey

  • softwood availability forecast

Deliveries of UK grown roundwood:

  • sawmill survey

  • survey of large sawmills

  • pulp and paper

  • wood-based panels

  • fencing and miscellaneous products

  • certification

  • wood energy

Trade in wood products:

  • apparent consumption

  • import and export quantities

  • import and export values

  • origin of wood imports

Employment and businesses:

  • employment

  • health and safety

  • numbers of businesses

Finance and prices:

  • timber prices

  • Gross Value Added

International forestry:

  • production and apparent consumption

  • world trade

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Technical Data

Full information on the statistics produced on timber industry is available in the Sources section of Forestry Statistics.

UK Timber

Statistics on timber are obtained from a number of sources:

  • Forestry Commission (FC) and Forest Service (FS) administrative records of removals from FC/ FS woodlands;

  • Surveys and data enquiries of the UK timber industry (including the Private Sector Softwood Removals Survey, Sawmill Survey, Survey of Round Fencing Manufacturers, Survey of UK Pellet & Briquette Production); 

  • Data provided by UK timber industry associations (Woodbased Panel Industry Federation, UK Forest Products Association, Confederation of Paper Industries and Wood Recyclers Association);

  • Estimates produced by the Expert Group on Timber & Trade Statistics.

Trade

Data on imports and exports are based on data obtained from overseas trade statistics on intra-EC trade and extra-EC trade produced by HM Revenue and Customs. Data on apparent consumption are derived as UK production plus imports less exports.

The data obtained from HM Revenue and Customs cover quantities (weights and volumes) and values of wood and wood products imported to and exported from the UK. Data are compiled for the following products:

  • roundwood - woodfuel, industrial roundwood

  • wood charcoal

  • wood chips and particles

  • wood residues

  • sawnwood

  • woodbased panels - veneer sheets, plywood, particleboard, fibreboard

  • pulp - wood pulp, other pulp

  • recovered paper, and

  • paper and paperboard - graphic papers (including newsprint), sanitary and household papers, packaging materials, other paper and paperboard

Employment and businesses

Statistics on employment are obtained from:

  • Annual Business Survey (ABS) (Office for National Statistics (ONS)) - an annual survey of UK businesses,

  • Industry surveys and industry associations - for employment in primary wood processing, and

  • Forest Employment Survey - a Forestry Commission survey of forestry and primary wood processing businesses in Great Britain, last run in 1998/9

Statistics for accidents to employees are obtained from Health & Safety Executive statistics for GB.

Numbers of businesses are estimated from:

  • industry surveys (Sawmill Survey, Survey of Round Fencing Manufacturers) and industry associations (UK Forest Products Association, Wood Panel Industries Federation) - for businesses believed to be using UK roundwood, and

  • UK businesses: activity, size and location (Office for National Statistics) - for VAT and/ or PAYE registered businesses.

Timber prices

Figures for coniferous standing sales from Forestry Commission owned woodland broken down by size category, and for Forestry Commission sales of softwood logs, are obtained from administrative records held by the Forestry Commission. The figures are obtained twice yearly, covering the year to 31 March and the year to 30 September for standing sales and the six-month period to 31 March and to 30 September for logs.

Gross Value Added

Statistics on gross value added (GVA) are obtained from the Annual Business Survey (ABS) (Office for National Statistics), an annual survey of UK businesses. The Annual Business Survey uses the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) to classify businesses to industries according to their main activity.

International forestry

International data on production, imports and exports are obtained from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).  Data on apparent consumption are derived as production plus imports less exports.

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Glossary

  • Bioenergy

    Energy from any fuel that is derived from biomass.

  • Biomass

    Naterial that is derived from living, or recently living, biological organisms.

  • Cement bonded particleboard

    Sheet material manufactured under pressure, based on wood and other vegetable particles bound with hydraulic cement and possibly containing additives.

  • Chipboard

    (see Particleboard).

  • FAO

    United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, responsible for the Forest Resources Assessment and for compiling international statistics on production and trade of wood products.

  • FC

    Forestry Commission: the government department responsible for forestry matters in Great Britain. The responsibility for forestry is devolved to ministers in the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly, but the executive functions are exercised throughout Great Britain by the FC.

  • Fibreboard

    Panel material with thickness equal to or greater than 1.5mm, manufactured from lignocellulosic fibres with application of heat and/or pressure. The bond is derived either from the felting of the fibres and their inherent adhesive properties or from a synthetic binder added to the fibres.

  • FS

    Northern Ireland Forest Service (an agency of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development).

  • Green tonne

    Weight measurement of timber fresh felled before any natural or artificial drying has occurred.

  • Hardwood

    The wood of broadleaved trees, a term sometimes used for the broadleaved trees themselves.

  • MDF (medium-density fibreboard)

    Wood fibreboard made by a dry process in which the primary bond is derived from a bonding agent, and having a density usually exceeding 600 kg per cubic metre. 

  • ODT

    Oven dry tonnes - Measurement of quantity without moisture (i.e. 0% moisture content).

  • OSB (oriented strand board)

    Multi-layered board made from strands of wood of a predetermined shape and thickness together with a binder. The strands in the external layers are aligned and parallel to the board length or width.

  • Overbark

    The volume of wood including the bark. Can be either standing volume or felled volume. 

  • Particleboard

    Panel material manufactured under pressure and heat from particles of wood (wood [also chipboard] flakes, chips, shavings, sawdust) in particle form, with the addition of an adhesive. 

  • Plywood

    Wood-based panel consisting of an assembly of layers bonded together with the direction of the grain in adjacent layers, usually at right angles. (Not made in the UK).  

  • Pulp

    A fibrous material produced by mechanically or chemically reducing wood into their component parts from which pulp, paper and paperboard sheets are formed after proper slushing and treatment or used for dissolving purposes (dissolving pulp or chemical cellulose) to make rayon, plastics, and other synthetic products. Sometimes called wood pulp. 

  • Recovered

    Either industrial process by-products (for example, offcuts or fines from a board manufacturing mill, furniture factory, joinery or construction) or from post-consumer waste wood (for example, pallets, construction waste) after the stage of recovery or reclamation for purposes of recycling.

  • Roundwood

    Logs and small branches (small roundwood).

  • Sawlogs

    Material of at least 14 cm top diameter that is destined to be sawn into planks or boards.

  • Sawmill products

    Materials including wood chips, sawdust and bark that arise during the conversion of logs to sawn timber.  Most are used as inputs to other wood processing industries, sold for bioenergy or sold for other uses.  Formerly called sawmill residues or co-products.

  • Sawnwood

    Sawn timber - timber that has been cut into planks or boards from logs.

  • Softwood

    The wood of coniferous trees or conifers themselves.

  • Standing volume

    Measurement of quantity before trees are felled. Usually expressed as cubic metres overbark standing.

  • UKFPA

    United Kingdom Forest Products Association.

  • Underbark

    The volume of wood excluding the bark.

  • UN ECE

    United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, responsible for compiling international statistics on production and trade of wood products for Europe, the Russian Federation and North America. 

  • Veneer

    A thin layer of wood, produced by peeling or slicing, used for decorative purposes. Veneers are usually applied to less expensive or less attractive substitutes including solid timber, woodbased sheet materials.  

  • Wood pellets

    Sawdust or wood shavings compressed into uniform diameter pellets to be burned for heat/ energy.

  • WRME

    Wood Raw Material Equivalent - the volume of trees required to produce a wood product. Can be measured underbark or overbark.

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Contact Details

For statistical enquiries about this topic, please contact:

Sheila Ward

Email: statistics@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 131 3146171

Economics & Statistics Forestry Commission Silvan House 231 Corstorphine Road Edinburgh EH12 7AT

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